Cheney Free Press -


Oprah For President? She could almost have a legitimate chance


January 18, 2018

It seems we should have learned something from Donald Trump’s short tenure as President. We should realize that our current system of campaign finance doesn’t produce the most qualified candidates.

We have discovered that popularity and ability can be two disconnected characteristics. Additionally. It should now be obvious that the President of the United States shouldn’t be an entry level position.

There are thousands — if not millions — of people in these United States who are more qualified to govern than the current occupant of the White House. They are excluded from consideration because they can’t afford to run. Political campaigns are fueled by money. For most candidates, that means donations.

Aspiring office holders must organize fundraisers and solicit backers. If they want contributions, the holders of the purse strings must be convinced the candidate will support the best interests of the contributors. Sometimes this means kowtowing to special interest groups and compromising a bit on the candidate’s lofty positions.

As a general rule, we frown on special interest groups’ influence on our government, but that is the way it works. Unless, the candidate-hopeful is rich enough to finance his own primary campaign. President Trump used his own money until he became his party’s nominee. We applauded the fact that he was not beholding to contributors, but his money shut out better qualified candidates. Campaign finance reform is long overdue.

President Trump was obviously a very popular candidate. His rallies drew thousands of enthusiastic fans. He took popular positions on controversial issues. “Make America Great Again.” Who can argue with that? His stand on immigration touched many Americans who believe in the rule of law. Americans had become disenchanted with the ruling class in our nations’ Capitol and were ripe for Trump’s rhetoric that he could “make deals” and bring dissenting factions together. The plan to accomplish his vision, however, was shallow and unrealistic. No one seriously believes in a wall on our southern border. His program to “drain the swamp” has filled government positions with industrialists who have no concept of government.

Trump is the first president in our history who has zero experience in government. Government and industry operate differently. Government has no profit motive. Diplomacy is an absolute necessity. Knowledge of how our government works is essential. President Trump had no experience in any of that. He was totally unprepared and must learn everything as he goes. Frankly, it is too important a position to rely solely on on-the-job-training.

Oprah has the same credentials as President Trump. She is rich enough to fund her own primary. She is popular and a good motivational speaker with no government experience at any level. I think she has a real chance.

Frank Watson is a retired Air Force Colonel and long-term resident of Eastern Washington. He has been a free-lance columnist for over 19 years.


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